Academic Anxiety Dream

It’s been awhile since I’ve had a pre-semester anxiety dream. I hope last night’s return of the genre doesn’t suggest anything about the upcoming semester.

In my dream, I was looking for my class on campus, trying to find the right building, and figure out what room I was supposed to teach in since the printer I used to print my roster seemed unable to print numbers. The more I walked, the more unfamiliar my surroundings seemed to be, and when I was able to spot something I recognized it felt somehow out of place. Eventually it dawned on me that some of the buildings and art work were from other campuses–from my undergraduate days at CSU, Chico and my graduate studies at UConn, and from other campus where I have worked and visited.

I grew more anxious as I walked. I realized I had no idea what I was going to say if/when I found where I was supposed to teach since my syllabus wasn’t ready, and I’d forgotten to turn in my book order, so there was no class text to turn to. As I continued to make my way across campus, I tried to devise some explanation for not having a collegesyllabus or textbook and for being late since I had this feeling of dread about being able to actually find where I was supposed to be for class.

As I came around a building I didn’t recognize, I ran into my BFF Cindy who was also lost. We talked about how odd it was that we were teaching on the same campus–something we’d made elaborate plans about when we were in grad school–that we were both lost, hadn’t prepared a syllabus, and yep, hadn’t ordered a textbook. Interestingly, her printer had also not been able to print numbers on her roster, so we decided to continue searching for our buildings together–two heads are better than one, right?

We walked and walked and walked. Finally my friend looked at her watch and said “Shit, we are so late. Class time is almost over!” We stopped in the middle of what looked like some area of the Desert Botanical Garden, and looked around. “What should we do?” I asked. “I don’t know,” she said. We stood there a few minutes, then looked left, then looked right and there was Madison Bear Gardens (Chico, CA). In unison we said “Fuck it, let’s go have a beer,” and headed toward the door. I turned to my friend and said, “you gotta try their burgers. There’s nothing better than a bear burger.” “Do they have vegetarian bear?” she asked. And I awoke.

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